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Things to know about the Duty and Tax-Free Balikbayan Boxes

Under Republic Act No. 10863 or the Customs Modernization and Tariff Act (CMTA), sending of balikbayan boxes by Qualified Filipino While Abroad (QFWA) to their families and relatives is exempt from payment of duties and taxes up to three times and not exceeding PHP 150,000 in a calendar year.

But wait, there seems to be new terminology here. What is QFWA – OFWs with valid DFA-issued passports, certified by DOLE and POEA for overseas employment. This includes Filipinos under job contracts that do not require certification from DOLE or POEA. Non-resident Filipinos with permanent residency abroad but retained Filipino citizenship. Resident Filipino Citizens that may include holders of student visa, investor’s visa, tourist visa, and similar visas which allow them to establish temporary stay abroad.

Who can send balikbayan boxes to the Philippines?
Anyone can send balikbayan boxes to the Philippines, even Corporations, Partnerships and Sole Proprietors. BUT only a QFWA can avail of the duty and tax-free privilege of balikbayan boxes under Section 800 of the CMTA.

Can balikbayan box I send to someone who is NOT family or relative qualify for the duty and tax-free privilege?
No. To qualify for the duty and tax-free privilege, the Ultimate Recipient or Consignee of the balikbayan box must be family or relative up to the fourth civil degree of consanguinity or affinity.


I’m a QFWA. When is my shipment counted as one Availment?
Balikbayan boxes brought in by QFWA as accompanied or unaccompanied baggage are included in counting the Availment. A shipment that is above PHP 10,000.00 shall be automatically considered as one Availment.

Is De Minimis importation counted as an Availment?
No. De Minimis importation shall not count as an availment. If the shipment is below PHP 10,000.00, it is considered De Minimis importation.

What can I ship in my balikbayan box to qualify?

Balikbayan boxes should contain only personal and household effects. Items that are in commercial quantity or intended for barter, sale or for hire are not qualified for the duty and tax-exemption privilege.

What conditions must I meet to avail of the taxt and duty-free shipment?

  1. A QFWA may avail this exemption up to three times a calendar year.
  2. The total value of shipments should not exceed PHP 150,000.00 in a calendar year
  3. Goods must not be in commercial quantity, except if qualified as De Minimis importation
  4. Regulated goods must not be in commercial quantity.
  5. Sender (QFWA) must submit an accomplished and signed information sheet.

Balikbayan boxes that do not meet the above conditions shall be subject to payment of duties and taxes without prejudice to application of rules and regulations of other government regulatory agencies in case of regulated goods.

The Process of Duty and Tax-Free Balikbayan Box

QFWA Submits:

  • Information sheet
  • Photocopy of Biographical Page of Passport
  • Invoice/receipt, if any

Consolidator (International Forwarder)

  • Submit information sheets and documents in a secured electronic format simultaneously to the Bureau of Customs and to the Deconsolidator.

Deconsolidator (Philippine Forwarder)

  • Submits information sheets and documents in a secured electronic format to Bureau of Customs

The above information is an excerpt from the Infographic posted by the POEA

Paano magpadala ng balibayan box tax free.

Posted by Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) on Monday, 31 July 2017



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